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Being Physically Active in 50s, 60s, Cuts Risk of Early Death; Especially those with heart disease risk factors see benefit

A study of 9,611 older adults has shown that the people who were physically active on a regular basis while in their 50s and early 60s were about 35 percent less likely to die in the eight years after that than people who were not active. The activities included things like gardening, going dancing and walking.

And the people in the study who had risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, smoking, high blood pressure and a history of heart disease, had an even bigger benefit from regular exercise. They were about 45 percent less likely to die in the following eight years.

The message here is simple, and one you’ve heard before: it’s important—extremely so—to make the time for regular activity, and that activity does not have to be running marathons.

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, November 2004.

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